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1 May 2006 Books

Ecologia e História Natural da Mata Atlântica, por Athayde Tonhasca Jr. 2005. Editora Interciência, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil. 198pp. ISBN 8571931305. R$50,00. Após séculos de desmatamento, restam hoje menos de 10% do conjunto de ecossistemas que constitui a Mata Atlântica. A acentuada redução de área, aliada a sua imensa riqueza biológica e altos níveis de endemismo, fazem da Mata Atlântica uma das prioridades mundiais para preservação. Mais ainda, estes ecossistemas têm valor inestimável na prestação de serviços ecológicos tais como armazenamento de água, controle da erosão e ciclagem de minerais. Por estas razões, a Mata Atlântica representa rico patrimônio cutural, estético, biológico e econômico dos brasileiros. No entanto, apesar de oficialmente protegida pela Constituição, a Mata Atlântica continua a ser devastada, vítima da especulação imobiliária, extração ilegal de madeira, captura de animais, poluição e atividades agropecuárias. Esta obra faz um apanhado das informações científicas sobre a fauna, flora, ecologia, conservação e regeneração das florestas neotropicais e da Mata Atlântica, reunindo estudos de caso e farta bibliografia. Estas informações irão auxiliar professores e estudantes de cursos em Ciências Biológicas e Ambientais, assim como pessoas interessadas em ecologia e conservação, a conhecer alguns componentes destes ecossistemas e suas intrincadas relações ecológicas. Para comprar: visite <> ou ligue para (21) 2581–9378 / 2241–6916.

Mammal Species of the World, Third Edition, edited by D. E. Wilson and D. M. Reeder. 2005. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore. 2000 pp. ISBN 0801882214 (hardback, two volumes), US$125.00. Wilson and Reeder's Mammal Species of the World is the classic reference book on the taxonomic classification and distribution of the more than 5,400 species of mammals that are known to exist today. The third edition includes detailed information on nomenclature and, for the first time, common names. Each entry covers type locality, distribution, synonyms, and major reference sources. The systematic arrangement of information indicates evolutionary relationships at both the ordinal and the family level. This indispensable reference work belongs in public and academic libraries throughout the world, and will be a valuable resource for every biologist who works with mammals. Available from: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2715 North Charles Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21218-4363, Phone: (410) 516-6900, Fax: (410) 516-6968. Orders: 1-800-537-5487, Fax: (410) 516-6998. More information online at <>.

Manual de Huellas de Algunos Mamíferos Terrestres de Colombia, por José Fernando Navarro y Javier Muñoz. 2000. Edición de Campo, Medellín. 136 pp. Este libro está hecho para brindar información básica sobre mamíferos neotropicales. Describe e ilustra 33 especies de mamíferos de las que se pueden encontrar con mayor probabilidad sus rastros en el campo. Para cada una de ellas se incluyen ilustraciones de sus huellas con medidas aproximadas y dimensión de la pisada, una descripción de la especie, su taxonomía y nombres vernáculos con los cuales se la conoce en Colombia, datos ecológicos y de distribución, entre otros. Este libro está hecho para ser llevado al campo; puede ser utilizado por profesionales, naturalistas aficionados, estudiantes y el público en general. Con esta publicación se pretende generar el interés por el conocimiento y la conservación de nuestros mamíferos amenazados. Mas información: <>..

Noninvasive Study of Mammalian Populations, by W. E. Evans and A. V. Yablokov. 2004. Pensoft Publishers, Sofia, Bulgaria. 142 pp. ISBN 9546422045 (hardback), €37.80. Although it is a tenet of particle physics that nothing can be observed without its being altered by the observer, biologists have long sought to do precisely that. Apart from their theoretical interest, noninvasive techniques have particular value for the conservation of threatened and endangered species. Written by two specialists in marine mammal research, this book is an expanded English-language version of an earlier monograph published in Russian. As such it is written from a distinctly Russian perspective, in particular with its emphasis on phenetics — a Russian school of evolutionary thought based on the “phene,” which the authors define as “any discreet [sic] phenotypic character” which may be used to explore the frequencies of genotypes in a population. Although their expertise in cetacean biology inevitably inclines this book towards the ocean realm, much of what they detail may be applied to terrestrial mammals as well. Available from: Pensoft Publishers, Geo Milev Str., No 13a, 1113 Sofia, Bulgaria, Tel:+359-2-870-42-81, Fax: +359-2-870-42-82, e-mail: <>. More information available at <>.

Patterns of Behavior: Konrad Lorenz, Niko Tinbergen and the Founding of Ethology, by Richard W. Burkhardt Jr. 2005. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago. 648pp. ISBN 0226080900 (paperback, $29.00). This book traces the scientific theories, practices, subjects, and settings integral to the construction of a discipline pivotal to our understanding of the diversity of life. Central to this tale are Konrad Lorenz and Niko Tinbergen, 1973 Nobel laureates whose research helped legitimize the field of ethology and bring international attention to the culture of behavioral research. Demonstrating how matters of practice, politics, and place all shaped “ethology's ecologies,” Burkhardt's book offers a sensitive reading of the complex interplay of the field's celebrated pioneers and a richly textured reconstruction of ethology's transformation from a quiet backwater of natural history to the forefront of the biological sciences. Contents : Acknowledgments; Introduction; Theory, Practice, and Place in the Study of Animal Behavior; 1. Charles Otis Whitman, Wallace Craig, and the Biological Study of Animal Behavior in America; 2. British Field Studies of Behavior: Selous, Howard, Kirkman, and Huxley; 3. Konrad Lorenz and the Conceptual Foundations of Ethology; 4. Niko Tinbergen and the Lorenzian Program; 5. Lorenz and National Socialism; 6. The Postwar Reconstruction of Ethology; 7. Ethology's New Settings; 8. Attracting Attention; 9. Tinbergen's Vision for Ethology; 10. Conclusion: Ethology's Ecologies. Available from: The University of Chicago Press, 1427 E. 60th Street, Chicago, Illinois 60637, USA, Tel.: 773.702.7700, Fax: 773.702.9756, and online at <>.

Phylogeny and Conservation, edited by Andy Purvis, John L. Gittleman and Thomas Brooks. 2005. Conservation Biology Series #8, Cambridge University Press, New York. 431pp. ISBN 0521532000 (paperback, $60.00). Phylogeny is a potentially powerful tool for conserving biodiversity. This book explores how it can be used to tackle questions of great practical importance and urgency for conservation. Using case studies from many different taxa and regions of the world, the volume evaluates how useful phylogeny is in understanding the processes that have generated today's diversity — and the processes that now threaten it. This book will be of great value to researchers, practitioners and policy-makers alike. Contents : 1. Phylogeny and conservation – A. Purvis, J. L. Gittleman and T. M. Brooks, p.1. Part 1: Units and currencies. 2. Molecular phylogenetics for conservation biology – E. A. Sinclair, M. Pérez-Losada and K. A. Crandall, p.19; 3. Species: Demarcation and diversity – P.-M. Agapow, p.57; 4. Phylogenetic units and currencies above and below the species level – J. C. Avise, p.76; 5. Integrating phylogenetic diversity in the selection of priority areas for conservation: Does it make a difference? – A. S. L. Rodrigues, T. M. Brooks and K. J. Gaston, p.101; 6. Evolutionary heritage as a metric for conservation – A. Ø. Mooers, S. B. Heard and E. Chrostowski, p.120. Part 2: Inferring evolutionary processes. 7. Age and area revisited: Identifying global patterns and implications for conservation – K. E. Jones, W. Sechrest and J. L. Gittleman, p.141; 8. Putting process on the map: Why ecotones are important for preserving biodiversity – T. B. Smith, S. Saatchi, C. Graham, H. Slabbekoorn and G. Spicer, p.166; 9. The oldest rainforests in Africa: Stability or resilience for survival and diversity? – J. C. Lovett, R. Marchant, J. Taplin and W. Küper, p.198; 10. Late Tertiary and Quaternary climate change and centres of endemism in the southern African flora – G. F. Midgley, G. Reeves and C. Klak, p.230; 11. Historical biogeography, diversity and conservation of Australia's tropical rainforest herpetofauna – C. Moritz, C. Hoskin, C. H. Graham, A. Hugall and A. Moussalli, p.243. Part 3: Effects of human processes. 12. Conservation status and geographic distribution of avian evolutionary history – T. M. Brooks, J. D. Pilgrim, A. S. L. Rodrigues and G. A. B. da Fonseca, p.267; 13. Correlates of extinction risk: Phylogeny, biology, threat and scale – A. Purvis, M. Cardillo, R. Grenyer and B. Collen, p.295; 14. Mechanisms of extinction in birds: Phylogeny, ecology and threats – P. M. Bennett, I. P. F. Owens, D. Nussey, S. T. Garnett and G. M. Crowley, p.317; 15. Primate diversity patterns and their conservation in Amazonia – J. M. Cardoso da Silva, A. B. Rylands, J. S. da Silva Júnior, C. Gascon and G. A. B. da Fonseca, p.337; 16. Predicting which species will become invasive: What's taxonomy got to do with it? – J. Lockwood, p.365. Part 4: Prognosis. 17. Phylogenetic futures after the latest mass extinction – S. Nee, p.387; 18. Predicting future speciation – T. G. Barraclough and T. J. Davies, p.400. Available from: Cambridge University Press, 40 West 20th Street, New York, NY 10011-4211, USA, Fax: 1-212-691-3239. General Address (Orders & Customer Service): Cambridge University Press, 100 Brook Hill Drive, West Nyack, NY 10994-2133, USA, Tel: 1-845-353-7500, Fax: 1-845-353-4141. Website: <>.

The Rise of Placental Mammals: Origins and Relationships of the Major Extant Clades, edited by Kenneth D. Rose and J. David Archibald. 2005. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore. 280 pp. ISBN 080188022X (hardback), US$95.00. From shrews to blue whales, placental mammals are among the most diverse and successful vertebrates on Earth. Arising sometime near the Late Cretaceous, this broad clade of mammals contains more than 1,000 genera and approximately 4,400 extant species. Although much studied, the origin and diversification of the placentals continue to be a source of debate. Here paleontologists Kenneth D. Rose and J. David Archibald have assembled some of the world's leading authorities to provide a comprehensive and up-to-date evolutionary history of placental mammals. Focusing on anatomical evidence, the contributors present an unbiased scientific account of the initial radiation and ordinal relationships of placental mammals, representing both the consensus and significant minority viewpoints. This book will be valuable to students and researchers in mammalogy, paleontology and evolutionary biology. Two chapters in particular focus on the edentates: “Xenarthra and Pholidota,” by K. D. Rose, R. J. Emry, T. J. Gaudin and G. Storch, and “Molecular evidence for major placental clades,” by M. S. Springer, W. J. Murphy, E. Eizirik and S. J. O'Brien. Available from: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2715 North Charles Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21218-4363, Phone: (410) 516-6900, Fax: (410) 516-6968. Orders: 1-800-537-5487, Fax: (410) 516-6998. More information online at <>.

What Makes Biology Unique? Considerations on the Autonomy of a Scientific Discipline, by Ernst Mayr. 2004. Cambridge University Press, New York. 246 pp. ISBN 0521841143 (hardback), US$30.00. This collection of new and revised essays argues that biology is an autonomous science rather than a branch of the physical sciences. Ernst Mayr, widely considered the most eminent evolutionary biologist of the 20th century, offers insights on the history of evolutionary thought, critiques the conditions of philosophy to the science of biology, and comments on several of the major developments in evolutionary theory. Notably, Mayr explains that Darwin's theory of evolution is actually five separate theories, each with its own history, trajectory and impact. Ernst Mayr, commonly referred to as the “Darwin of the 20th century” and listed as one of the top 100 scientists of all-time, was at the time of publication Professor Emeritus at Harvard University. What Makes Biology Unique? is the 25th book he wrote during his long and prolific career. Contents : Preface: What is there at issue?; Introduction; 1. Science and sciences; 2. The autonomy of biology; 3. Teleology; 4. Analysis or reductionism; 5. Darwin's influence on modern thought; 6. Darwin's five theories of evolution; 7. Maturation of Darwinism; 8. Selection; 9. Kuhn's scientific revolutions; 10. Another look at the species problem; 11. The origin of man; 12. Are we alone in this vast universe?; Glossary. Available from: Cambridge University Press, 40 West 20th Street, New York, NY 10011-4211, USA, Fax: 1-212-691-3239. General Address (Orders & Customer Service): Cambridge University Press, 100 Brook Hill Drive, West Nyack, NY 10994-2133, USA, Tel: 1-845-353-7500, Fax: 1-845-353-4141. Website: <>.

"Books," Edentata 2006(7), 61-64, (1 May 2006).
Published: 1 May 2006

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